Pritzker Prize Winners Anne Lacaton
and Jean-Philippe Vassal exhibit in Sydney
The University of Sydney School of Architecture, Design, and Planning is set to host an extraordinary exhibition that delves into the transformative power of quality housing and its impact on urban environments. Renowned architects Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal, recipients of the prestigious 2021 Pritzker Architecture Prize, will present their extensive research, teaching, and architectural projects in a captivating showcase entitled Lacaton & Vassal: Living in the City. Spanning from July 27 to September 23, 2023, this exhibition marks the culmination of three years of collaborative work as inaugural Rothwell co-chairs at the University of Sydney. It highlights Lacaton and Vassal’s commitment to exploring the role of architecture in creating livable and inclusive urban spaces.
The establishment of the Garry and Susan Rothwell Chair in Architectural Design Leadership, made possible through a generous gift from alumni Garry and Susan Rothwell, has provided the foundation for Lacaton and Vassal’s research and teaching at the University of Sydney. The Chair’s purpose is to explore the capacity of architecture and urbanism to enhance people’s quality of life, perfectly aligning with the focus of the exhibition.
The focus of the 2021 Rothwell Studio centered on the Sirius apartments in Sydney, as students meticulously assessed strategies employed in other notable works for their potential application within a contemporary Sydney context. Continuing the series, the second studio in July 2022 delved into the realm of social and affordable housing in present-day Sydney. Building upon the findings and discussions from the 2021 Rothwell Studio and Symposium, students undertook a comprehensive documentation of the Waterloo Housing Estate nestled in the heart of south-central Sydney. This endeavor tackled multifaceted issues encompassing social housing, Indigenous rights, colonial history, urban planning, and market interests. An enlightened approach guided their actions, ensuring that no existing buildings, trees, or elements cherished by the inhabitants were to be disturbed, adhering to an ecologically responsible ethos. Finally, in April 2023, the third and final studio unfolded in the captivating city of Paris. Here, a talented group of 20 Masters students embarked on an intellectual exploration of key architectural marvels and captivating artists’ installations in and around Paris. Their purpose was to delve deeply into critical research and meticulous documentation, all with the aim of embracing architectural and urban ambitions that resonated harmoniously with the visionary principles championed by Lacaton and Vassal.
Their exploration of contemporary urban conditions of living in the city has resulted in a wealth of knowledge and insights that will be shared with the public. Central to this transformative exhibition is the duo’s philosophy, which places a strong emphasis on close attention, transformation rather than demolition, and the provision of high-quality living spaces for everyone as a critical priority. Through architectural models, documentary films, and studio investigations, visitors will gain a profound understanding of Lacaton and Vassal’s methodology and their efforts to improve living conditions in urban areas, as the exhibition underscores their belief that access to dignified and well-designed housing is a fundamental right. Curated by Anne Lacaton, Jean-Philippe Vassal, Hannes Frykholm, and Catherine Lassen, the exhibition also features exemplary social and affordable housing designs by international and Australian architectural firms and researchers. It serves as a platform to highlight innovative approaches to housing, fostering a dialogue around collaborative efforts in creating sustainable and inclusive communities.
Lacaton & Vassal: Living in the City promises to be an inspiring and thought-provoking experience that challenges conventional notions of housing and urbanism. Don’t miss this exceptional opportunity to witness the innovative ideas and transformative projects of Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal.
To know more about Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal’s work head to their website.